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Toolboxes: Future development and current activities

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CBN’s core purpose is to encourage a love of reading among children who can read, but don’t.

We began this through workshops, and this has been the prime testing ground for ideas that potentially can carry the purpose forward.

It has always been clear that a small (however dedicated) team cannot make a difference to children in great numbers. Not only is this impossible in a practical sense, it is also not cost effective.

Our goal, for the past two years, has been to continue our workshops and consolidate our experience and condense it into a format that can be taken out into the greater community by teachers and librarians. This is happening in the form of the toolboxes.

Notes on toolboxes:

Research and development:

Preparing one complete toolbox (and the basis for two more) has been an enormous (and probably endless) task. There are 60 books in the box and some games, activities and supplementary materials. That was not so hard to assemble.

But there is also a handbook in excess of 100 pages to give guidance to those who use the boxes. It has involved hundreds of hours on a voluntary basis as well as some funded hours from Rotary Skelleftea in Sweden. Costs cannot be recovered by adding a percentage to the toolbox price – that would price the boxes completely out of reach. Research and development has to be either funded or voluntary (or a combination of both). The game and supplementary activities in the associated kit are equally time-consuming.

The teaching materials in the boxes consist of:

A detailed handbook written in a user-friendly style outlining how we make our workshops work. This gives plenty of ideas about how communities can work together to make reading an important part of their children’s lives. We re constantly adding ideas that include involving parents and others – and making use of whatever reading materials are available – books in a classroom, magazines, newspapers, old copies of National Geographic – everything.

A custom-written and illustrated story book about Zeb Super-Book-Hero who flies through the stars, through a library door … and into the universe of books and stories.

Detailed material on how to use the books that Zeb flies into with activities and – most of all – reading around the core meaning and value of the Super-Books.

Our Website

Materials will also be published on our website eventually and will be freely available for download.

Q: What would we do if somebody took our ideas?

A: Have a party. They is exactly what we want. For the ideas that CBN has trialled and tested to spread ever further. For CBN to reach more and more children and inspire them to read.